SCVA Newsletter (on-line version) - October 2012


Message from the President - John Hendricks
As I think about the future of our organization, I believe that there is one tenet worth emphasizing again and again— that SCVA is an association for ALL of Southern California. According to our General Membership Manual (available to members on our website), SCVA “is open to music educators and music education students in the following counties: Imperial, Inyo, Kern, Los Angeles, Orange, Riverside, San Bernardino, San Diego, San Luis Obispo, Santa Barbara, and Ventura.” Think about this… our region is larger than most states, spanning from the center of California to the borders with Mexico and Arizona!

Thus, I put forth two questions to you, and I would very much like to hear from you with your thoughts regarding them: 

1. Is SCVA effectively serving your needs in your local area? 
2. How might SCVA better help you achieve your goals as a choral educator in order to best provide accessible opportunities for your students in your specific region? 

It is my aim that SCVA continue to broaden our reach so that students and educators in every county listed above are highly engaged, served, and supported by our organization. SCVA, as a group of highly committed volunteers, depends on all of our members to propel us forward. We need you, your creativity, commitment, and energy in this pursuit. I challenge you, that if you haven’t attended an SCVA festival recently because there hasn’t been one near you, that you strongly consider hosting one! Our two highly dynamic and knowledgeable Vice Presidents of Festivals, Nancy Ludwig, and Melva Morrison, are happy to assist you in the preliminary planning for your event.

I’m very excited by what lies ahead on the SCVA calendar. Our Fall In-Service is scheduled for Friday, October 19, and promises to be an invigorating day of professional development for our participants. (Please read Rodger Guerrero’s article about the In-Service in this publication.) Our High School Honor Choirs, under the direction of Mr. Rodney Eichenberger, Dr. Jonathan Talberg, and Ms. Lori Marie Rios, perform on Saturday, November 17 at 7:30 p.m. at Santa Monica High School, and we invite you and your students to attend what is certain to be an extraordinary concert. The Junior High School Honor Choir auditions, and the “bulk” of our festival season, follow in January and the succeeding months. Of great interest to many of our students will be the Jazz Vocal Festival on March 15, as it will feature a Contemporary A Cappella component for the first time. Two exceptional clinicians will work on-stage with the participating ensembles, and the renowned a cappella group Sonos (as heard on NBC’s “The Sing Off”) will headline the concert that follows the student performances and clinics.

As you can see, there is much on the SCVA “horizon”! You’ll also notice over the next few months that we’ll be redesigning our website, and continue streamlining and automating all of our on-line registration processes. In the meantime, please send me your insights as to how your board and your organization can best work for you in your district. My e-mail is I look forward to hearing from you, and to seeing you at our Fall-In Service on October 19 and at many SCVA gatherings in the coming months.


Fall In-Service - Rodger Guerrero, Past President
The annual SCVA Fall In-Service is fast approaching. This year’s fantastic workshop will take place on Friday, October 19, 2012, from 9:00am – 4:00pm. It will feature a wide variety of topics for the choral and combination choral/instrumental teacher, including:

Choral Warm-Ups: Modeling and Kinesthetic Sensation (Desiree LaVertu)
Desiree LaVertu is a renowned voice teacher as well as the current Director of Choral Activities at Occidental College. During this session she will present a tactile approach to vocalizing the choir, one which will enable singers to become autonomous over their own vocal technique.

Strategies for the Combination Choral/Instrumental Teacher (Jill Geist)
Jill Geist is a highly successful teacher of Band, Jazz Band, Chorus, and Guitar at Ramirez Intermediate School in the Corona USD. Her inspiring and comprehensive approach to combination teaching has been featured a numerous CMEA and SCVA workshops.

Rehearsal Methodology: Building Learning from the First Moment (Dr. Christopher Peterson)
Dr. Peterson is an Associate Professor of Music at Cal State Fullerton, where directs the CSUF Concert Choir, the Titan Men's Chorus, and teaches classes in choral music education. He is well known for his vibrant and ingenious teaching and lecturing style. He will not only detail a systematic approach to building musical learning blocks from the first rehearsal moment, he will actually demonstrate this efficient method in an actual rehearsal with the Santiago High School Madrigals from Corona USD.

SCVA Adjudicators Clinic (Scott Hedgecock, Vice President, CMEA)
Scott Hedgecock is a longtime active SCVA participant and CMEA Board member. He will first astutely walk us through the adjudicator’s thought process. Following this, performances by the Norco Intermediate School Choir, directed by Kyle Betts, and the Santiago High School Madrigals, directed by Karen Garrett, will be evaluated by those who would like to become SCVA festival adjudicators. Even those not wishing to become adjudicators will enjoy the performances of these two outstanding ensembles.

The In-Service will conclude with a reading session of “Building-Block-Music” for high school SATB, SSA, and TTB ensembles, as selected by Dr. Peterson, followed by an update on the current efforts of CMEA and SCVA to create a statewide, standards-based choral festival/contest system in California.

Once again, the venue for the SCVA Fall In-Service will be the Placentia Presbyterian Church located at 849 N. Bradford Ave. in Placentia. Activities will officially begin at 9:00am, but please arrive at 8:15am for registration and a complimentary continental breakfast. And don’t forget to bring a fellow choral music educator!

Register today at

$45 Early Registration (before October 5th)
$55 Late/Walk-on Registration (reading session packet cannot be guaranteed)
$10 Collegiate Membership Registration


SCVA High School Honor Choirs - Tina Glander Peterson, Vice President, High School Honor Choirs
With auditions successfully completed, Karen Garrett, High School Honor Choirs VPII, and I would like to thank the audition site hosts and the judges for their great work in creating outstanding experiences for our students during the audition process. Many thanks to you all for sharing your time and talents!

We are excited as we now look ahead to greeting our 2012-2013 SCVA High School Honor Choirs for the first time on October 27th at Irvine HS for their first rehearsal. We are in need of some volunteers to assist us with 7:30 AM registration, 8:00-9:00 AM part checks process. This new part check process will be modeled after the All-State process. We will need 8 people for registration and 6 people for part checks.

We will also need 6 volunteers for the Honor Choir weekend at Santa Monica HS on Friday, Nov. 16 for check- in, concert ticket sales and t-shirt distribution at 8:00 am. It is so important that all 270 singers are checked in and ready to start rehearsals with our amazing conductors by 9:00 AM on Friday. We will continue to need help throughout the day on Friday and on Saturday to complete the many logistical tasks that go into making the weekend run smoothly.

We enthusiastically welcome your assistance in October and November. Helping with these events is a great way to serve, meet friendly and interesting people, and truly make a difference in the experience of our students. And, while you’re with us, we would strongly encourage you to watch some of the rehearsals. I look forward to observing our fine conductors and learning some new ideas and techniques to use in my classroom. The rehearsals are truly fascinating and inspiring!To the directors of the students who auditioned successfully into the choirs, we respectfully request your volunteerism at the October rehearsal and/or the November honor choir weekend. We can’t do it without you! We look forward to your help and appreciate your time. Volunteering is a great way to become more involved in the Southern California choral community. And above all, your assistance helps to ensure the best possible honor choir experience for our students!

Dates to Remember:
Saturday, October 27 Honor Choir Rehearsals – Irvine HS
Friday, November 16 Honor Choir Rehearsals- Santa Monica HS
Saturday, November 17 Honor Choir Rehearsals and Concert - Santa Monica HS

Please contact me at to volunteer. Karen and I look forward to seeing you in October and November!


We need a few more festival sites – are you willing and able to host???
Nancy Ludwig, VP of High School Festivals & Melva Morrison, VP of Junior High & Middle School Festivals

In these days of even more severe budget cuts, we are all looking for ways to stretch our money. Hosting a festival is one way that can help you out and support our wonderful SCVA festival tradition at the same time. Festival hosts can enroll one choir for free, not have to hire a substitute, give their students a great opportunity to work on their leadership skills, and save money on travel expenses. 

It is also very helpful when we are able to offer many different festival sites, dates, times, and types. With all of our school years on different starting times and STAR testing carried out in different ways during the month of April, having options makes our lives as choral directors a little easier.

Remember that the deadline to register to host a festival is November 1st, 2012 – step up and help out – you’ll be glad you did!

Submit your festival host registration at - deadline is November 1, 2012.

If you are interested in hosting an ELEMENTARY FESTIVAL, or if you have questions about elementary festivals, please email Melva Morrison.  Please contact us with questions!


Do You Want to be an SCVA Festival Adjudicator? - Jennifer Stanley, Executive VP
The October 19 Fall In-Service will include a festival adjudicators' workshop. It will feature live performances by the Norco Intermediate School Choir (Kyle Betts, director) and the Santiago H.S. Madrigals (Karen Garrett, director).

To be considered as an SCVA festival adjudicator, you must attend the Fall In-Service and complete the adjudicators’ workshop. Applicants will adjudicate the two demonstration choirs and submit written evaluations of them on SCVA Festival Adjudication Forms. The submissions will be reviewed by a panel from the SCVA Executive Board, and qualified applicants will be added to the SCVA Festival Adjudicators list. The adjudication form can be downloaded at

All registration information for the Fall In-Service is available online at Participants must be SCVA members in order to register. The cost of the In-Service is minimal: only $45 for registration by Oct. 5th and $55 afterwards. Furthermore, SCVA Collegiate Members can register for a mere $10. Please register today.


Young Women's and Young Men's Harmony Festivals - Mark Freedkin, VP of Barbershop Harmony Festivals
We are pleased to invite you to this year's Barbershop Harmony Festivals for Young Women and Young Men. Both events will be held at the Robert B. Moore Theater on the campus of Orange Coast College in Costa Mesa. The 8th annual "Diva Day" Young Women in Harmony Festival, sponsored by the Harborlites Chorus, will be held on Saturday, February 2, and the 13th annual "Young Men's Harmony Festival" will be held on Saturday, February 16, sponsored by the Masters of Harmony. Both of these events will provide a unique musical opportunity for your singers and will provide a positive boost to your choral music program.

Each event will consist of morning and afternoon clinics and rehearsals, followed by a public performance in the evening with the respective adult choruses. There will also be a clinic for music educators who would like to participate in a hands-on demonstration of how the barbershop style is taught and how it can be used to attract more young men and women into your program.

The early application fee is only $25 per singer for applications that are submitted by November 16. After November 16, the application is fee $30 per singer. The sponsoring choruses will cover the remaining costs for all sheet music, practice CDs, rehearsal facilities, guest clinicians and performance costumes. Each singer will receive a commemorative t-shirt. We will also provide lunch and dinner for the singers, choral directors and any adult chaperones accompanying the singers.

Please download and print the appropriate application forms from the SCVA website. Complete and return the applications and forms, along with payment by cash, check or money order payable to Harborlites (for Diva Day) or Masters of Harmony (for the Young Men's Festival). Each event is limited to 250 participants, so be sure to submit your applications early. Note that these festivals are separate events, and you must send the appropriate forms and payments to the proper recipient.

Young Women's Festival Only:
In order to accommodate more schools, we are limiting the number of singers per school to twelve (12). Ideally we suggest 1-2 tenors, 3-4 leads, 2-3 baritones and 3-4 basses. This will allow you to perform the music as a group and use this group to help your other students learn the joy of singing four-part harmony, barbershop style. Send applications for all students you wish to participate, indicating those students beyond the initial 12 that you wish to put on the Waiting List. We will try to accommodate as many as we can.

Young Men's Festival Only:
There is no limit to the number of singers from your school who wish to participate, but please submit your applications early to ensure that all of your singers can be accommodated.
We look forward to receiving your applications. Please contact us if you have any questions about our festivals.

Diva Day (Young Women's Festival)
Karen Ridout
Harborlites Chorus
Home: (714) 847-0787
Cell: (714) 319-2325
Young Men's Harmony Festival
Mark Freedkin
Masters of Harmony
Home: (949) 559-9621
Cell: (714) 357-1187


Website Update - Mark Freedkin, Webmaster

High School Honor Choir Audition Applications
More than 585 high school singers used our website to submit their Honor Choir Audition Applications online. Everything worked very smoothly, although there were a few students who didn’t enter their director’s or their own e-mail address accurately, and all of those applications were automatically routed to me for manual correction. There were also a few directors whose students used more than one e-mail address for their director, which also required some manual correction by me. Using a single e-mail address will allow you to see a complete list of all your singers on the Approve/Reject page.
As a new feature for this year, we added the ability for the Audition Site Hosts to enter the audition scores and voice part divisi for all of the singers at their site. This will streamline the process of gathering that information in preparation for posting the Audition Results.

As we continue to enhance and automate our website processes, we would appreciate everyone’s help in ensuring that e﷓mail addresses are entered accurately, and that directors only use a single e-mail address that will not be blocked.

Automated E-mail Broadcast Messages
A number of automated e-mail confirmation and broadcast messages are routinely sent from our website to choral directors for various events. Please ensure that your e-mail system can accept incoming messages from "" so you can receive all of those messages. In some cases, you may need to contact your school district's network administrators to prevent those messages from being rejected as suspected SPAM (unsolicited e-mail).

Please also be aware that if you just reply to any of those automated broadcast messages, your response will be sent to me (as webmaster), and I must then forward your message the originator. For more efficient communication, please do not reply directly to any of those messages. Instead, please send your response directly to the original sender's e-mail address.

Hints for Using PayPal and Saving Money
When using PayPal to pay the application or participation fees for multiple students, you can minimize the processing fees by adding the desired item to your Shopping Cart only one time, and then specify a quantity for that one item. You should not add the same item to your Shopping Cart multiple times (once for each student), since that will result in a larger processing fee added to you total transaction.
You can also use a single PayPal transaction to pay the application or registration fee for multiple activities at the same time, rather than checking out after submitting each item. Simply add each item to your current shopping cart, and then click on the Continue Shopping link to return to the SCVA website. After you have completed all of the items you wish to purchase, you can then proceed to the checkout page and receive a single invoice that lists all of those items.

Remember that you don't need to have your own PayPal account. Instead, you can simply use PayPal with any major credit card (MasterCard, Visa, Discover or American Express).
If you have any comments, questions or problems with any of the pages on our website, please contact Mark Freedkin at or (714) 357-1187.


As the Coordinator of SCVA Show Choirs, I’m reminded every year that high school choral directors who have show choirs as part of their choral program, need not forget that teaching correct vocal and breathing technique, perfecting choral diction in English and other languages, offering a variety of classical choral repertoire and reminding students of proper stage and concert etiquette is the foundation of having a successful show choir as well as establishing a well diverse choral program. It is our responsibility to offer students many opportunities to sing standard choral repertoire in addition to the music that is characteristic of show choir. At Diamond Bar High School, my program consists of four concert opportunities throughout the year. The fall concert emphasizes classical music only with solo opportunities in the classical or sophisticated musical theatre genres. For the winter concert, the repertoire is more of the same but also includes classics (in a variety of genres and styles) from seasonal repertoire with sacred and secular texts. As the year progresses and show choir becomes the focus (second semester), students have developed a love for singing using proper vocal technique and have experienced choral literature that will enhance their singing experience for the rest of their lives. Show Choir should not be viewed as an alternative to a legitimate choral program but should be viewed as another dimension for us to teach the love of singing.

As the webpage from the ACDA Repertoire and Standards for Show Choir states:

“The show choir is a choral ensemble specializing in the stylized performance of music of the popular culture and that of the musical theatre. The aural aspect of the performance is often enhanced by the
visual medium through choreography, costuming, props and sets. With its roots dating back to Fred Waring and the Pennsylvanians and the “Swing Choir” movement of the 1950’s ad 1960’s, the show
choir has evolved into an artistic endeavor encompassing the aspects of total show production.”


Original authors: Diana R. Spradling and National R&S Jazz & Show Choir Committee
Revision authors: Ken Thomas and National R&S Show Choir Committee (2006)

Purpose - The purpose of these standards is to provide choral directors and choral educators (choreographers, arrangers, set designers, costumers, etc.) with a foundation upon which to build their show choirs as a viable and contributing part of a total choral program. For the beginning show choir, these standards should serve as starting points upon which to build. For the developing show choir, these standards should serve as goals to strive to attain. For the experienced show choir, these standards should serve as a measure of evaluation for the effectiveness and viability of their ensemble.

Premise - Recognizing the complexity of the world in which we live and particularly that of the educational system in today's society where much of the body of choral literature is taught and performed, we create these standards believing in certain fundamental premises. Foremost, the show choir is not a replacement for a traditional choral program but an enhancement of the existing program. The show choir experience is designed to build upon the experiences of a traditional choral program, to provide opportunities for the exploration of additional literature, to expose more people to experiences in choral singing and to attract more listeners to the beauty and joy of choral music. Furthermore, it must be the essential mission of each choral director and choral educator to maintain a level of excellence and a dedication to integrity in the stylistic performance of choral music of all types, idioms, historical periods and styles.


I. Singing - Performing alone and with others, the members of the show choir should demonstrate the ability to sing a varied repertoire of music from the popular culture and musical theatre genres with
appropriate and healthy vocal technique, musical accuracy, technical accuracy, expression, ensemble skills and stylistic integrity.

II. Movement/Dance - Performing alone and with others, the members of the show choir should demonstrate the ability to add movement to their performance that compliments the music through
technical accuracy, appropriate ensemble technique, expression and appropriately varied styles of dance.

III. Instrumental Accompaniment - When performing with instrumental accompaniment, the members of the show choir should demonstrate the ability to create a total ensemble performance integrating
the skills of all the performers into a stylistic, entertaining and educational package for both audience and participants. The use of live accompaniment is strongly encouraged. Directors of the show choir
should work toward this achievement.

IV. Integrating Art Forms - While experiencing the rigors and complex demands required in combining the individual disciplines of music, dance and theatre into a single performance medium, the members of the show choir should demonstrate the skills of the complete artistic performer.

V. Interpreting Music Elements - In reading and notating well-crafted music, the members of the show choir should demonstrate the ability to read a vocal score of varying parts appropriate to the ability
level of their ensemble, describe the elements of music being used and expressively interpret the markings within the score.

VI. Stylistic Awareness - After listening to, analyzing and rehearsing the music, the members of the show choir should demonstrate stylistic awareness in the music they perform through appropriate
vocabulary, the performance of appropriate articulations and phrasing and critical evaluation.

VII. Performance Practices and Evaluation - By evaluating performances, the members of the show choir should demonstrate the ability to objectively review both their performances and the performances of others utilizing the accepted standards of excellence incorporated by the disciplines of music, dance and theatre along with the ensemble approach to the combination of these disciplines. The members of the show choir should recognize that performance practices in this genre do allow for more individualized interpretation than that of traditional choral literature.

VIII. Creativity of the Individual - As a means of encouraging the development of a variety of individual competencies, the members of the show choir should be given the opportunity to demonstrate their individual talents and abilities as solo performers, as composers and arrangers of repertoire for the ensemble, as choreographers and designers and as production leadership team members.

IX. Entertainment as Art - Recognizing the relationship between the three disciplines of music, dance and theatre in the performing arts, the members of the show choir should demonstrate their concept
of entertainment as an art form through the elements of performance, appropriate rehearsal etiquette, continuous practice with attention to detail and respect for the contributions of others.

X. History and Pop Culture - Understanding the genre of popular music and theatrical music in relationship to history and culture, the members of the show choir should demonstrate the ability to
classify repertoire or performance by style, type or historical period and explain the reasoning behind their classification as well as identify the role that this music and its performers have played in the
historical and cultural development of society.

The SCVA Show Choir Spectacular Competition will be held on May 4, 2013 (Venue TBA). The online application for this event is available on the SCVA website. We hope that your school will join us in 2013!

Good luck to all California Show Choirs as you prepare for another challenging and exciting year of competition.

Patty Breitag
Choir/AP Music Theory/IB Music/Musical Theatre
Diamond Bar High School
SCVA Show Choir Coordinator - 2012-2013.


JUNIOR HIGH HONOR CHOIR - Molly Peters, VP of Junior High Honor Choir

Hello SCVA!

My name is Molly Peters and I am the VP of Junior High Honor Choir this year. I am excited to announce that we have selected April 27th, 2013, for our JHS honor choir. Stay tuned for more information regarding audition dates and sites, the rehearsal, and our guest conductor.

This is my eleventh year teaching and I am looking forward to taking an active role in SCVA this year. I teach choir and guitar at both Rancho Pico Junior High School and West Ranch High School in Santa Clarita. In my spare time (haha), I sing with Don Brinegar at Pasadena City College and volunteer with various animal shelters and rescue groups.

I look forward to getting to know the other junior high school directors and students as we plan and prepare for the junior high honor choir this year. If you have any questions, please e-mail me at
. And please make sure to tell your junior high school students about the honor choir and encourage them all to audition!


Vocal Jazz -- Christine Tavares, VP of Vocal Jazz Festival

SONOS to perform at the SCVA Vocal Jazz and Acapella Festival
Save the Date: Friday March 15th, 2013
Enrollment Fee per Ensemble: $150
7PM Performance of SONOS: Tickets $10 each

All Southern California High Schools are invited to participate in the SCVA Vocal Jazz and Acapella Festival at Valencia High School! Our wonderful adjudicators will be Christine Guter (Cal State Long Beach) and Kate Reid (Cypress College). Our guest artist for that evening’s performance will be the recently featured group on the Sing Off, SONOS. (See bio below). Performance spots are limited, reserve your spot today!

Emerging in the fall of '09 from the Los Angeles vocal scene, Sonos has created a genre of their own, uniquely infusing vocals+electronics. On their Verve Records debut "SonoSings" the group reinvented artists like Radiohead, Bon Iver, Bjork, Fleet Foxes, Imogen Heap, Jazzanova, and dazzled with a dark, trip-hop take on a Jackson 5 classic. Sonos also put out a holiday album "December Songs" in 2011, which includes their beautiful renditions of the classics along with a couple of originals.

Special appearances over the past three years include live radio sessions on NPR's Weekend Edition, KCRW, BBC Americana, Studio 360 and Sirius/XM; performances at SXSW '11, Sundance '10, TED, Celtic Connections, ASCAP Awards and accompanying Sara Bareilles at the Orpheum Theater; plus performances at MojaMoja's Pre-Grammy Brunch '12, colleges, clubs and performing arts spaces all around the country. Sonos also made an appearance for millions of viewers on season 3 of "The Sing Off" on NBC.


Other Important Information
On-Line SCVA Membership Application (not required for students who are auditioning for Honor Choirs)
On-Line Festival Host Application
Calendar of Events